“Life must go on” progfather vows as he celebrates singer’s replacement and looks ahead to working with Trevor Horn again
Yes bassist Chris Squire says the band’s fans don’t miss singer Jon Anderson, who was replaced by a tribute band singer in 2008.
Anderson fell ill and was unable to work on a planned tour, so the band brought in Benoit David and toured under the name Howe, Squire and White of Yes. The tour was cut short when Squire fell ill, but resumed in 2009 with Benoit under the name Yes.
Anderson was reported to be disappointed with developments, and last year tried to alert ticket-buying fans that they wouldn’t see him if they attended the tour. Former keyboardist Rick Wakeman, whose son Oliver is now in in the band, went further and said: “That’s not Yes any more. I have no respect for that band.”
But Squire, the only person to have remained with the prog outfit since its formation, insists Anderson isn’t missed by most fans – and changing the lineup is an important way to keep the music fresh.
He tells Classic Rock Revisited: “As far as I’m concerned, I find a minority of people are upset about the change. Obviously there are going to be people who will miss him or whatever, but life must go on.
“If Jon was up and his health was good then it would be a different situation – but that is not the situation. We decided to go on with Benoit – because otherwise the band would have slipped into obscurity.”
Squire says having David and Wakeman Jr on board has revitalised the music: “With Benoit we were very lucky to find someone who can do the job. It took a while for him to fit in but we’re working on a new album and building things from the ground up.
“I enjoy Oliver’s playing and the audience seems to enjoy his presence as well. I remember him when he was five years old, then when he became a teenager I thought there was a possibility he might show up in the band one day.”
The next album will be produced by Trevor Horn, who worked with Yes during their Owner of a Lonely Heart period. Squire says: “That should tell you something – you may get a bit of influence from that era.”
Anderson and Wakeman Sr completed a tour together at the end of last year and are considering further work together.